Key elements of a winning opt-in offer

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Did you know that if you're not using a highly visible and irresistible opt-in offer on your Web site to encourage Web visitors to give you their e-mail address, you're missing up to 90 percent of your potential sales?

Studies show that less than 1 percent of your first-time Web visitors will ever buy your product. In fact, the best marketers with the most successful sites seldom convert more than 5 percent of their Web visitors into customers.

So what happens to the 95 percent of your Web visitors who came and went?

For most sites, absolutely nothing. Those prospects are gone forever - never to return. That's why it's critical to have an opt-in mechanism on your site.

In short, you must offer an irresistible and easy way for your Web visitors to give you at least their first name and e-mail address. By capturing this vital information, you can now build a relationship with that new prospect through a series of follow-up e-mails.

Remember, if you're not using follow-up e-mails as part of your online marketing strategy, you're missing out on 90 percent or more of the potential profits of your business.

Here are key elements of a winning opt-in offer.

A compelling benefit-driven headline. You want a title that speaks to the needs of your target audience.

Have your descriptive text provide a summary of the appetizing benefits they will receive. Plus, give your opt-in offer (your bribe/bonus gift) an implied value. You can do this by saying something like, "This Special Free Report is a $19 value."

Show how easy it is ("Simply fill in your name and e-mail address below") and how fast they're going to get it ("It will be sent to your e-mail box automatically within minutes.")

Assurance of privacy. People want to make sure you don't sell their contact info to third parties.

The form script itself. In terms of priority, you want to get their e-mail address, followed by first name and last name (last name is not imperative but the first name is, so you can personalize your follow up e-mail messages.)

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